At the start of the winter season, Brooks girls 1st basketball team welcomed a new leader: former college coach and professor of sport psychology, Head Coach Ben Chase.
Now that the season is in full swing, we’re taking time out to check in, get fully acquainted and hear his goals for the program this season and beyond. Read on for five fast facts about Coach Chase and his squad:
1. He’s a Score!
When Chase began coaching at Brooks this winter, he brought with him more than a decade of experience coaching college basketball, with stints at three Division 1 schools: West Point, Boston University and Houston Christian University. Director of Athletics Roberta Crump-Burbank said Brooks is fortunate to have welcomed a coach of his caliber: “With his background and experience, he’ll be able to provide for our kids a really great experience."
Chase’s experience will help Brooks’ players improve their mental game, too. The coach — who has a master's degree in physical education, health and coaching from Boston University — is currently a professor of sport psychology at the University of New Hampshire. He also runs High Perception Hoops, a basketball training organization dedicated to developing basketball IQ and decision-making skills.
2. He's a Player, Too.
Chase — who currently lives in Merrimac, Mass., with his wife Kim and their two daughters, Brady and Tova — knows what it’s like to be a player, too. He was a standout athlete at Newburyport High School before he went on to Emerson College, where he was a four-year letter winner and an academic All-American on the basketball team.
3. He's Got a Growth Mindset.
Coming in new to a team that finished New England champions last year could be daunting. Not to Chase. “I couldn’t be more excited to take over the girls basketball program at Brooks,” he said at the start of the season. “The standard of excellence in basketball, academics, and character at Brooks, and in the girls’ basketball program in particular, is incredibly high. I look forward to the challenge of maintaining that legacy.”
His top goal, however, is "to grow together to become a team that maximizes the ability and effectiveness of each individual player,” he said. “We have a lot of talented girls on the roster, and everyone brings a unique set of skills and abilities. We need to connect and move together with shared purpose, on both offense and defense, to become the best team we are capable of being.”
4. He's Already Impressed!
Early games in the schedule didn’t always go their way but the team started off 2023 with a bang, defeating ISL opponent Middlesex School 63-33 on January 7 — and coach Chase has no doubt there are more successes to come. “I had high expectations coming in, but those have been exceeded already,” he said. “The strong leadership of seniors Kendall [Eddy] ’23 and Maeve [Gaffney] ’23 was apparent from Day One. . . . and the great attitudes and willingness to adjust to a new coach and new system has been really impressive. Change is never easy but this team bought in right from the start. Our potential is so high, I can't wait to see how we grow as the season progresses.”
5. He's Ready for All the Challenges
With seven games left in February there is plenty of opportunity to keep the positive momentum going. Chase is here for it, just as he has seen his players are. “The standard of academic and athletic excellence at Brooks is second to none [and] I love coaching motivated student-athletes; players who love to compete and want to push themselves both on the court and in the classroom,” he said. The chance to coach in “an environment like this,” he added, “is exactly what I was looking for, and I couldn't be more excited to be here at Brooks.”
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